What to Expect in the First 2 weeks after Bringing Baby Home for the First Time
The first 2 weeks after bringing a newborn home from the hospital can be a whirlwind and a shock. Learn what to expect in the first 2 weeks after bringing baby home for the first time.
I think I’ve said this a bazillion times on this blog, but I’m going to say it again:
You have a vision in your head before becoming a mom of what it will be like, and the real life version, turns out to be the complete opposite. (Or, maybe you’re a realist, I am not.)
I was totally shocked that it wasn’t all rainbows and puppies like I had imagined.
I think a lot of this was because talking about the realness of motherhood and how hard it can really be is so taboo.
(Side note: I feel like this is becoming less taboo, which is great! We need a supportive community, “we are all in this together“, and it’s okay to admit your hardships. We’re all human and we all need help. We also all love our children!)
I felt like most people painted their parenthood so wonderfully.
They couldn’t get enough of their baby, and their love just overflowed for them.
I felt as if parent’s almost feared to talk about the hardships because if it was hard, or if you didn’t like parenting all the time, you didn’t love your children.
Well, this just isn’t true. And if we live with the expectation that we will always love motherhood/parenthood and always like our children, then we will always live with guilt and we will constantly be beating ourselves up.
Well, I had that expectation.
So, naturally, I was very disappointed.
Parenting is hard, and probably one of the hardest things I have ever done.
After bringing home a newborn from the hospital (and I have talked to a lot of moms who say this as well), you’re almost in shock.
It’s like culture shock.
It’s a whole new world that’s completely different from the world you were just in like 2-3 days ago.
It’s hard to know what it will be like without experiencing it.
So, I’m here to help you, so hopefully you’ll be in less shock. (I wish I had this information before I had my newborn baby.)
12 Things to Expect in the First 2 Weeks after Bringing Your Newborn Home
Postpartum Recovery (not for the faint of heart)
Okay, so I was completely blind sided with the postpartum recovery. In a nutshell:
- You bleed for up to 2-4 weeks
- It takes hours to poop
- You can’t wipe, you have to make your own personal bidet
- Your lady parts hurt
- It might be hard to sit
- You can’t have sex and shouldn’t workout for at least 6 weeks.
All kinds of good stuff. Be prepared for it, otherwise it might surprise you. Here is my postpartum story.
Find tips for an easier postpartum recovery in this post.
Postpartum Body (completely its own category from postpartum recovery)
To put it bluntly: You’re still fat.
I know, unfortunately, for most people, your belly does not just shrink back down, immediately.
Sorry if I have just crushed all your wildest dreams.
It might take some work and effort to get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight, but don’t get discouraged. It is possible, and you can do it at your own pace.
No Sleep with a newborn
Getting no sleep is probably the least taboo of all the hardships of parenthood.
On top of trying to take care of yourself, you have a little one to take care of, and you will not sleep.
Just don’t expect to sleep at all, then you won’t be disappointed and sleeping will almost seem like a bonus.
For real though, it’s true that you will not sleep a lot.
Everyone will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, take this advice.
It’s hard because you want to do everything else like shower, clean, eat, you know, the essential things.
Try to resist the urge and sleep instead.
Don’t be surprised if you shower less than you used to.
That’s it, just don’t be surprised.
Also, always have a bottle of dry shampoo handy. It’s a must in a postpartum recovery kit.
(If you have help the first couple weeks, this might not apply to you until week 4.)
So much crying.
Babies cry more than you realize. (again, unless you’re more prepared than me).
Not only is the baby crying, but you will probably also be crying. Your hormones are all over the place, so don’t be surprised if you feel sad.
If your baby is colicky, that takes crying to a whole new level.
Just remember crying is how they communicate with you.
Longing for old life
You might find yourself longing for your old life.
This is completely normal. Not only are you in “culture shock”, but your hormones are all over the place.
Give yourself some time to process and digest what the heck just happened.
This might also come from feelings of inadequacy. The feeling that you can’t be the mother of this new child, you’re not qualified.
Well, you are qualified, and you can do it!
Newborns are work
Maybe you already know this, or think you know it.
I knew it would be hard. Well, hard is relative and I was no where near close to knowing how hard it actually is.
You do everything for them. EVERYTHING!
And they are so demanding. Like teenagers who can’t talk.
Getting a newborn dressed is like dancing with a banana peel.
They eat and poop, constantly.
They also have to be held and loved.
It ain’t no side hustle. It’s work.
Just plan to be MIA for at least 8 weeks.
I know I said it already, but I’ll say it again. Your emotions are all over the place.
You’re happy then your sad, then you’re excited and feel overwhelmed with love, then your sad again. And this could all be in the same day! Heck, same hour!
Alright, now that I’ve talked about the hard stuff, let’s talk about the cute stuff.
It’s crazy, but there are days where you just want to stare at your baby for hours.
Just watch their cute little hands move and there big ol’ eyes look up at you.
They’re just so cute.
Everything they do is cute.
Yawns are cute.
Farts are cute.
It’s all just so cute, and you can’t believe you made this little person, or get to raise this them.
There is a sense of pride once you become a parent.
You want to show off your baby to everyone, and you just feel so proud to be taking on this responsibility.
Although you might question it some days, you would jump in front of a car for your baby.
You just love them. It’s the one thing that is automatic when you become a parent.
The cute stuff makes the hard days worth it.
As they grow and with each developmental stage, you find new things to adore, and they make you love them even more.
Remember, there will be days that you just hate being a parent and mom, and you just want to leave it all behind. I get it.
But there are also so many days filled with joy, which make the sacrifice worth it. Just remember, just because you hate it, at times, doesn’t mean you love your children any less.
Related: How to Overcome Mom Guilt
Related: Ways to Relieve a colicky baby